According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: — 2 Peter 1:3
Glory and Virtue
The glaring omission in the new feature film based on the British television serial Downton Abbey is “the knowledge of him that hath called us.” It’s as if this strange aristocratic world with it’s glorious manor and virtuous fashion suddenly materialized out of thin air in a perfectly appointed countryside. Actually the English culture, cus-toms and architecture emerged over hundreds of years of human drama that necessarily included religion — the Christian religion.
It is still there in the narrative of the film. But it never surfaces. Not once. While all the great personages of early twentieth century Britain make an appearance the film doesn’t even hint at the reality of Jesus Christ. Even the King and Queen play a starring role in the two hour movie. But not Jesus Christ, or one of his representatives.
That’s a good thing these days. If Christianity were to be written into the plot of a modern film it would be repre-sented by a humorless boob.
I say that Christianity is still there in the narrative because the film prominently features the glory and virtue of sod-omy. The head butler of the abbey is homosexual. The film deftly cuts between bone and marrow in the portrayal of the sin that cries out to heaven for vengeance. It doesn’t cut like God’s Word. It cuts like the dull knife of post modernism.
The sequence of scenes glorying in Thomas Barrow’s “love” for men are carefully designed to elicit sympathy from moviegoers. In a superbly drawn sequence half way through the film the grandiloquence of dining with monarchs is juxtaposed with the “glorious romance” of men dancing together in a smoke filled “gay” brothel. It makes for good drama, but the film risked turning the world upside down. Julian Fellowes manages to pull it off, leaving movie goers entertained, and still willing to stay with the film to the end.
And in the end, the film does manage to the turn the world upside down. It leaves no doubt that the Christ-worshipping patriarchal English countryside of Lords and Ladies is a sad artifact from a weird past. Atop the new world are emerging sodomites and feminists. If you believe the film, it goes without saying that this is as it should be. It’s obvious. The past only looks like it was full of glory and virtue. That’s an illusion. The present is full of glory. And the global democratic utopia we are creating for ourselves is just around the corner. That’s the eschatology of Downton Abbey.
The film succeeds because it honors the last vestiges of a Christian civilization. Men and women must worship all the time and in every way. Downton Abbey is full of worship, glory, virtue — beauty. The human heart is drawn to it. The characters love and hate in an ordered Christian world of highs and lows. There’s high, as well as low, fashion. Men are men. Women are women.
The community of men and women are ordered together over generations to sustain life. The beating heart of the order portrayed in Downton Abbey is the worship of Jesus Christ. England still officially calls itself a Christian nation in her documents. But her heartbeat may be down to a murmur. We may be hearing the death rattle of England now.
Her Church barely exists. After falling to sodomy many years ago it appears God may be allowing Muslims to conquer the Island nation. London’s Mayor is a Muslim. Violent gangs of Muslim men rape English girls in the countryside. The government protects the Muslims. God rained down fire on cities of violent male gangs who demanded sex with divinity once before. Will He again?
The other England, America, is headed by an LGBTQ-loving reality star who happens to be a billionaire. In Elmer Gantry style he stands atop the nations, or so it appears to us Americans. One should not be wondered at for thinking that the days of the debt-based dollar are numbered. The power of positive thinking is no substitute for the power of nature and nature’s God.
The world is rising. Russia is Christian once again. In May of this year the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church said they are building three new churches a day. This in a nation that spent four generations experimenting with a ferociously strong globalist-minded God-hating central government. Russia is also, unlike America, bordered by hostile religious ideologies. They have centuries of experience with unifying their culture around the worship of Jesus Christ while holding off the violent Muslim and Asian hordes.
China is tightening her grip on the social order using totalitarianism. They are installing tens of millions of videocams to monitor and socially rank their population. Nobody knows the future. Only God.
He is the same yesterday, today and forever.
I don’t pine after the days portrayed in Downton Abbey. That doesn’t need to be our Christian future. God has caused many diverse and beautiful cultures to flourish because of the glory and virtue of Jesus Christ. America and England can continue in repentance for their sins. They will not continue, in fact, if they don’t repent. God will honor that repentance with renewed glory and virtue. It will come through the knowledge of Him.